Thursday , Nov , 04 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Boston Celtics Team Report – November 4

=== Boston Celtics Team Report – November 4 ===

(Sports Network) – The Boston Celtics got their season off on a losing note
on Wednesday, as they dropped a 98-95 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers at
the FleetCenter.

Paul Pierce collected 35 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for Boston,
while Ricky Davis scored 14 points and Mark Blount contributed 12 points and
eight boards in the loss.

The loss was the first in Doc Rivers era, as he was coaching his first game
for the Celtics since becoming the 16th coach in franchise history in early
May.

The Celtics opened the third quarter with an 18-2 burst to grab a seemingly
comfortable 71-53 advantage. Pierce had six points and Gary Payton drained a
three-pointer during the spurt.

Philadelphia then battled back. Two free throws by Marc Jackson with 1:11 left
in the period cut the deficit to 80-71. However, Pierce countered with a
three- point play and Boston held a 12-point lead after 36 minutes.

The 76ers again rallied and pulled within 86-85 following consecutive three-
pointers by Kyle Korver, the latter coming with 8:40 remaining.

Boston then scored seven of the next nine points to stretch the margin to six
with just over five minutes left. However, Philadelphia answered with an 11-0
burst, highlighted by three-pointers from Korver, Willie Green and Iverson to
move in front 98-93 with 2:52 left.

Davis hit a jumper 19 seconds later, but that was it, as both teams were
unable to convert the rest of the way. On the final possession of the game,
Pierce misfired on a three-pointer and time expired.

Boston returns to action on Friday when they host the team that ended their
season last year, the Indiana Pacers, who swept them in the first round of the
Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Celtics, though, could have the advantage on Friday, as the home team in
this series has won eight of the last 12 meetings. However, Boston has dropped
three straight to the Pacers and four of the last five and five of the last
seven matchups.

BOS